Same day West Virginia ends partisan judicial elections, North Carolina citing “transparency” starts process to bring them back

I mentioned back in February the unique dichotomy between North Carolina and West Virginia’s legislatures in terms of judicial elections. Every effort West Virginia has taken in the last several years (enacting public financing of supreme court races and moving to nonpartisan judicial elections) North Carolina has done the opposite (repealing public financing of appellate races and efforts to move back to partisan judicial elections).

March 25 is a case in point. On that day West Virginia’s governor formally signed HB 2010 ending partisan judicial races starting with the 2016 elections; the governor had issued a veto on HB 2010 previously not on the merits but due to typographical and reference errors in the bill.

At effectively the same moment Senators in North Carolina were introducing SB 650 for “transparency” in elections. Not only does SB 650 end nonpartisan judicial races, it would also end all nonpartisan races from local board of elections to boards of education and the like. This bill now joins the previously filed HB 8 (partisan elections of appellate judges).